Reaching Louisiana and North America for Christ is too big a task for one church to handle. New Church Multiplication is one of the best ways for us to work the fields to the edges. And EVERY CHURCH can get involved. How? The sky is the limit. There is no right or wrong way to support church planting. The question is, How big of a commitment are you willing to make?
In the previous post in this series we’ve talked about how to ENCOURAGE Church Planting and Planters and how to be a church planting PARTNER / SPONSOR. A deeper level of commitment will be to become the PARENT or primary sponsor for a Church Plant.
Part 3: Every Church can PARENT a New Church to Maturity
At this level, here’s the question: Is God calling our church to multiply and send out from our membership to plant a new church or campus? To multiply at this level you should go about it with the same veracity as you would with a new building project or capital campaign, utilizing all avenues of communication for a sustained period of time to cast the vision for becoming a Parent. During a building campaign, the last thing you want to hear from a member of the church is, “I’m not sure why we need a new building.” You work hard to get everyone on the same page through sermon series, letters, special web pages, banquets, personal testimonies, visual displays throughout the building, commitment Sunday’s, personal home visits, and more. If planting a new church in North America with momentum and a great potential for survivability is our goal, we should want every member to be on board and to do away with some anti-multiplication slogans – “I don’t see why we need a new church” or “Those people can just come to church here” or “Sending out people will hurt our church.” Here are a few ideas to prepare your church for off-campus multiplication:
- Answer the call from God to reproduce through off-campus multiplication. Ask, did we hear from God or from our local Associational or Denominational leader? Also ask, did we hear from God or are we just doing this because another church in our area is doing it? This type of endeavor requires a vision from God that will be owned by your church and its leadership.
- Bring a Minister of Missions and Multiplication or Church Planter on staff. Part of this person’s job description should be to cultivate congregation and community for a new church. Devise a strategy that will allow the congregation to see him as an insider and whereby he can build trust with the people. Allow him to have regular pulpit opportunities, write newsletter articles, attend staff meetings, etc. Buy in and trust are so important if you want this to move quickly, so maybe this person is already on your staff or has a relationship with your church that makes them insiders.
- Prepare a Message series on Multiplication and Church Planting. The Book of Acts may be a good place to start. Bring the series to a close with an invitation to be part of a planting team or to help with the new church in some tangible way. One church devised dozens of ways that every member could be involved starting with things like prayer and making cookies for a block party, ending with the invitation to join the Leadership Team of a new church for two years.
- Send Out Leaders for the Work of Multiplication. In Acts 13, the church at Antioch sent out no other than the Apostle Paul and his chosen associate Barnabas. Don’t hold back anyone that may sense a call from God to go. And encourage them to make at least a one-year commitment of time, talent, & tithe to the work of the new church or campus.
- Make a long-term commitment to the development of the new church or campus. Parenting is the best description for this extensive role in expanding the kingdom. Parents nurture, train, discipline, encourage, and celebrate all the child does. Take that role with the church plant. If done in the right way and in God’s time, I promise they want remain with you for 18 years. With quality cultivation, team building, and great parenting, it won’t be long before your church will be a GRANDPARENT! And then we are well on our way to a Multiplication movement.
Contact the LBC Church Planting Team for more information on church planting, for assistance devising your church’s church planting strategy, or to make connections with church planters and church planting training around Louisiana.